Insurer Rejects Church Over Gay Support

Fear of retaliation leads to denial of application for property coverage
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 8, 2008 3:05 PM CST
Fear of violence and vandalism prompted Brotherhood Mutual's decision to deny an insurance application from a Michigan church that openly supports gay rights.   (
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(Newser) – A Michigan church has been denied property insurance not because it sits on the wrong side of the tracks, but because its national governing body sanctions gay marriage and the ordination of homosexuals, reports the Wall Street Journal. Denials are normally reserved for high-risk applicants, and Brotherhood Mutual was concerned that the West Adrian United Church of Christ's controversial stance would provoke vandalism or destruction.

"Every insurance company is in the business of assessing risk," said a Brotherhood Mutual spokeswoman. Insurers in the South canceled coverage of some predominantly black churches in the 1990s after a wave of arson attacks, but a church has never been turned down as a precaution. Brotherhood Mutual has denied coverage for churches that advocate violence, picket military funerals, or make statements against leaders of other faiths.